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Let’s Talk About a Word I Hate: Metabolism


They call it metabolism, I call it unfair.

I was never one of the lucky kids who could eat nine peanut butter and jelly sandwiches as an afternoon snack and stay skinny. I have always had to watch what I eat to keep my weight down.

Grownups would explain the skinny kid by saying, “He just has a fast metabolism.”

What does that even mean? Metabolism? I finally looked it up:


  • /məˈtabəˌlizəm/ (noun)
  • “The chemical processes that occur within a living organism in order to maintain life.”

That definition explains Keith Richards, since he’s processed more chemicals than DuPont, but not the battle of the bulge.

Nowhere in that definition do I see anything about the rate at which Billy processed his PB&J’s that allowed him to be thin while I wasn’t.

The adults were just trying to make me feel better.

Well, now that I’m the adult, I say that if metabolism is real, it gets a heckuva lot lazier as it ages.

I used to be able to cut out a couple of meals in one day and lose five pounds. Now, I drive by a Braum’s and gain 10.

I’m normally a calm individual, but recently when a skinny person complained about trying to gain weight and being unsuccessful, I almost bounced a can of Slim Fast off their head.

Maybe we’re just not meant to be old and skinny. Maybe we’re supposed to just accept the cards we’re dealt and get over it.

All I know is that at 30, 40 and 50, it got harder and harder and harder to keep the pounds off.

I’m thinking about starting a Metabolism Haters Club. We can meet at Braum’s. No skinny people allowed. You in?

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